Uttar Pradesh – Labour leaders arrested on false charges in Gorakhpur

April 12, 2011

Source – Bigul Akhbar

The Gorakhpur police arrested two worker’s leaders, Tapish Mandola and Pramod Kumar of Bigul Mazdoor Dasta and Textile Workers Union, on false charges from the Bargadwa Industrial area of the city. The protesting workers who went to talk to the SHO were badly lathicharged while the police went ahead and arrested two other leaders Prashant and Raju along with some workers. As the news spread a large number of workers from various factories gathered in protest at the police station where they were again lathi charged. Some anti-social elements at the behest of the industrialists resorted to stone pelting to flare up the situation even more but the workers acted promptly to stop them. It is clear that such things are being done to provoke the workers so that the police could get an excuse to unleash more repression. For a long time the industrialists of the city have been furious at the amount of enthusiasm and support extended by the workers of Gorakhpur to the Worker’s Charter Movement-2011. With the support of local industrialists and the city MP anti-social elements have launched a tirade against this movement through pamphlets-posters with dubious names and the propaganda machine of the industrialists has tried to stop workers from participating by branding the movement as being run by Maoists.

During the day a minor scuffle took place between some workers and a security guard of one of the factories which had nothing to do with the Textile Workers Union or Bigul Mazdoor Dasta. But it was enough excuse for the police to arrest two leaders Tapish Maindola and Pramod from a tea shop. About 100 workers reached the police station when they came to know about the arrest. The SHO indulged in abusing and threatening the workers and ordered to lathi charge them while arresting two more leaders Prashant and Raju. After a little while some more workers gathered in front of the police station when some anti-social elements (who were surely working for the industrialists) tried to throw stoned on the police. But the workers acted hastily and controlled them. Although no stone reached the police station and nobody was hurt the SHO once again ordered to lathi charge the protesting workers. It is very clear that all these activities are being conducted in a very planned way by the police in collusion with the industrialists and the leaders of the workers are being targetted. In the meantime the workers of the factories whose shift ended came out and joined the protesters and about 500-600 workers began to move towards the District Magistrate office in the form of a procession. But they were detained by the police as soon as they came out of the Bargadwa Industrial Area and were threatened. A large number of police and PAC personnel were also deployed. However the workers insisted to release their leaders, and ADM City and other district officials reached the spot and promised to release all the arrested people on individual bonds. By the time of writing this report the arrested leaders have not been released and the workers were trying to move towads the DM office which is about 6-7 kms from the spot.

This incident makes it very clear that the widespread support of the workers to the Workers Charter Movement-2011 has made the factory owners furious and they are trying to break the unity of the workers by employing their goons and with collusion with the police and city administration. The workers are being intimated in every possible way. They are also trying to project this peaceful movement for the basic constitutional demands of the workers as a ‘Maoist Movement’ and a movement being organised with foreign capital. It is noteworthy that ever since the workers united and began to fight for their demands in 2009, the indurtialist-administration-local MP nexus has resorted to false propaganda to malign the movement .